1251 GMT February 21, 2018
Merkel's then-chief of staff, Ronald Pofalla, said a few weeks before Germany's 2013 election that the US had offered to negotiate such an agreement. The daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and two broadcasters, however, have reported in recent weeks there was no firm indication the White House would contemplate such a deal, AP reported.
Asked in an interview with the Sueddeutsche Zeitung published Saturday whether she had officials lie to the public, Merkel replied: "Of course not. There were talks between the American side and us which made it appear possible to agree such a deal."
Pofalla's statement followed revelations by Edward Snowden about US National Security Agency surveillance.